Like many fruits, bananas continue to ripen as they age. The skin of this nutritious fruit is green initially, but turns yellow as it begins to ripen. When a banana turns brown, you can assume that it is overripe, or that its skin has been damaged or bruised. As bananas ripen, they produce and release ethylene gas, which causes the yellow pigment in the skin of the fruit to break down and turn brown. Nevertheless, a brown banana is not a useless banana, and it is still so nutritious.
This article shares 9 explains 9 ways to use a brown banana.
1. Throw them in a smoothie
Bananas are a very popular ingredient for smoothies. Brown bananas mix just as well and can be used in just about any smoothie recipe that calls for bananas. The only changes you might notice in your smoothie are a slightly darker color and milder flavor, as brown bananas tend to contain more sugar and therefore taste milder than yellow bananas.
2. Add them to your breakfast oatmeal
Adding brown bananas to your rolled oats is an easy way to add a touch of sweetness without using added sugars like white or brown table sugar. Plus, bananas are nutrient-dense and add fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to your meal.
3. Pair them with pancakes
Bananas are often paired with pancakes. Sometimes they are simply cut and placed on top, while other times they are mixed directly into the batter.
When it comes to tossing bananas directly into the batter, some people swear by brown or very ripe bananas to create the softest, fluffiest pancake.
4. Sip banana tea
Tea might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of bananas, but banana tea is actually a hot and tasty source of vitamins and minerals like potassium and magnesium. . You can make banana tea with or without the peel, but keep in mind that many health-promoting antioxidants are found in the peel of the fruit, so using it in your tea can provide more nutrients.
5. Enjoy them frozen
There are ways to enjoy a frozen brown banana, including this simple but delicious Banana Ice Cream in a Banana Frozen Yogurt Shake.
6. Try cooking them
Did you know that bananas can be cooked on the grill or on the stove, just like plantains? Although plantains can be eaten raw, they are most often enjoyed cooked. Brown bananas can also be prepared with a number of traditional cooking methods, including:
Keep in mind, however, that these types of recipes often require the use of added sugars, so are best eaten in moderation as dessert.
7. Use them to replace eggs in baking
If you’re out of eggs, are allergic to them, or follow a vegan diet, there are a number of other ingredients you can use in their place: applesauce, ground flaxseed and, yes, even mashed brown bananas. Due to their sweetness and binding properties, mashed brown bananas are ideal for replacing eggs in baking recipes. For each egg you want to substitute in a recipe, mash a small brown banana or half a large one.
8. Use them in your self-care rituals
If you have more brown bananas than you want to cook, there are plenty of other ways to use this fruit. You might even consider using a few in your skin and hair care routines.
9. Freeze them for later
One of the great things about bananas of any color is that you can easily store them in the freezer. If you have brown bananas on your hands but don’t have much time to prepare them, freezing them for later use is a great way to cut down on food waste and get the most out of your fruit.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bananas
Here are some questions people often ask about brown bananas.
How to prevent bananas from browning?
The best way to prevent bananas from turning brown is to store them in the open so that the gases they give off can escape. When bananas are confined, such as in a bag or box, they are more likely to brown. If bananas often turn brown before you have a chance to eat them, consider buying fewer at a time or buying fruit that is still bright yellow or slightly green.
Are brown bananas healthier?
You might think that brown bananas are less nutritious than yellow ones, but in reality, the difference between the two is quite small. Brown bananas still contain healthy nutrients like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. However, fiber and sugar are nutrients to consider in brown bananas. When bananas ripen, fiber begins to break down and complex starches turn into simple sugars. So if you’re worried about your sugar intake or blood sugar levels, it’s better to choose yellow, less ripe bananas more often than brown bananas.
Can brown bananas make you sick?
A banana that has turned brown from being overripe probably won’t make you sick. However, if a banana has started to develop mold, leak liquid, or give off an unpleasant odor, it has probably started to rot and can no longer be eaten. Since the nutritional makeup of the fruit changes as it ripens, you may find that you digest one level of banana ripeness better than another. In fact, many people say they digest brown bananas more easily than yellow ones, while others, especially those with irritable bowel syndrome or other digestive disorders, may experience the opposite.